London City Airport announces record 4.5m passengers for 2016

Rebecca Smith
Source: Getty

London City Airport is flying after a record 2016.

The Royal Docks-based airport announced five per cent year-on-year growth, recording 4,526,059 passengers for the year.

That's the most in its 30-year history, and it said this was driven by expanding routes and investment in facilities.

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Chief executive Declan Collier said: "With 52 per cent of all passengers travelling for business, the five per cent year-on-year growth demonstrates that the appetite for business travel to and from London remains strong despite the unpredictable political climate, as we prepare to expand the airport in 2017 to meet increasing demand."

Six new routes were added last year including Bergerac, Alicante, Berlin and Bremen.

The busiest month on record for the airport was July last year, during which 421,518 passengers departed or arrived at London City Airport.

The 10 commercial airlines which operate from the airport serve nearly 50 domestic, European and US destinations at present. The most popular routes by passenger numbers for last year included Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Zurich, Frankfurt, Rotterdam and Dublin.

Last summer, the government also approved planning permission for the £344m City Airport Development Programme (CADP), with construction beginning this year.

The development should bolster numbers further, enabling 6.5m passengers to travel through the airport by 2025 and add a further 29,000 flights per year.

Read more: It's official: City Airport really is the only airport in London

The airport said the privately funded investment includes plans for seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway to maximise runway capacity, as well as a terminal extension to accommodate increasing passenger numbers.

It marked a busy year for the airport, which was taken over by new owners in February: a consortium of international infrastructure investors, led by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Borealis Infrastructure for around £2bn.

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